What is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome?

Patellofemoral pain syndrome, or PFPS, is a common problem for many people.

PFPS is a syndrome that is described as pain felt in the knee. It often originates from the interaction of the femur (thigh bone) against the patella (kneecap). There is often too much of a pull along the lateral quadriceps muscles and lateral retinaculum. This displaces the kneecap not allowing it to track properly in its groove. Weakness of the medial quadriceps muscles and the hip external rotators are a few of the common findings.

How do I treat PFPS differently?

Following assessment and confirmation that PFPS is the proper diagnosis, I use manual therapy as needed and follow this up with retraining motor patterns using the Pilates equipment.

Hip misalignment is often responsible for knee pain. This happens when the femoral head (the end of the thigh bone) is either not sitting in the socket properly or does not move properly. Oftentimes, people will end up with a femur that turns inward too much which puts extra strain on the knee.

The pictures below are an example of how I help a client understand how to feel what position their hip is currently held in and how it moves less efficiently when kept in this position. Helping them find the neutral position of their hip followed by learning how to move their hip in this new position is the beginning before functional, weight bearing movements are added.

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